Monday, July 7, 2014

Bueno, vamos hacer una pausa por un momento.

Well everybody, this has been an interesting week.

I'm not gonna give too many details this week, you should all just know that I'm gonna be back home for a little while to heal up from my back/hip problems. Don't worry too much about me, once I get back on my feet, I'll get back out there to baptize all the people.

But right now, I'm taking a little break for the moment.

If you have any questions comments or concerns, you can respond to this post, send me a quick email, or you can even come and visit me in person.

I love you guys! I'll see you when I see you.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Los Ratones y Mi Tiempo en La Molina

Hey errybody!

So another week has passed, and everything is just about the same. I don't want you guys to worry about me, I'm sure it'll all be fine. A few aches and pains have never stopped Elder Smith!

So, this week has been a great big adventure, and has actually been pretty eventful. I did a lot of stuff. I love doing stuff. So, here's the run through for this week.

On Monday, it was P-day, like normal. It was a companionship P-day, so we spent our time in our apartment. We played some cards, and I got a haircut. It looks pretty sharp. That night, we had our family home evening with our pensionista, and everything went well. It wasn't all that eventful. 

On Tuesday, it wasn't all that eventful either, other that we went over to have our lunch, and because my companion is a Mexican, he really wanted to make tacos, so we spent about an hour and a half at out pension trying to figure out how to make tortillas. It was pretty good, but I think the dough had a little too much flour. The tortillas were reaaaaally thick. 
I also made some pancakes because my pensionista wanted pancakes. XD   

That night, we went on divisions with our district leader so that my companion could actually go out and do something. So, you may be wondering, But Elder Smith, what about transfers? Well, transfers would have been that day, but we had them about two weeks ago because our new Mission President was going to arrive, so yeah, the past transfer was a little short, and this one now is going to be a little longer. (I'll tell more about the new Mission President later)

So, on Wednesday, the action started up. In the morning, we had a multi-zone conference for President Ardila's farewell. It started out with the sketches that we'd been practicing. Remember when I told you about that? The one that I had to direct? Yeah, that one. It went alright, but a lot of these missionaries are definitely not actors. It's okay, our sketch was still the best. So, the Zone conference was cool, we got a nice little pin from the mission (I'll send a picture later)
After the zone conference, I had to stick around, because later that night, I had an appointment with a physical therapist. The rest of that day I spent with the office missionaries. It was pretty cool, they're all pretty sweet. That same night, there wasn't time to go back to my area, so I spent the night in the apartment of the office missionaries.

On Thursday, I had to stick around the office until the appointment in the night, so I spent the day mostly studying the scriptures. In the night I had my appointment. What I do there is they hook me up to a little machine that sends electricity through my back to help soothe the muscles. At first, when they started it up, it felt like there were marbles rolling around under the skin on my back, and as they increased the power, it felt more like a really high powered sprinkler hose was spraying my back. It was pretty weird. But that night I had to spend with the office missionaries. Again. 
On Friday morning, my companion came back from our area with the zone leaders to wait with me until the next appointment that afternoon. So, we waited around the apartment until we could go. After the appointment we could go back to our area. 

That's about all that happened that week. The only other thing is that this morning I got to meet our new mission president, President Boswell. He's pretty cool, but I can't explain much more right now for sake of time. We just talked about my hips and things like that. It was pretty alright.
Well, that's all I have time for this week, I'll try to keep you all updated as much as I can. I love you guys! Until next week,

-Elder Dañel Jacob Esmitho

Elder Fernandez sends his love. (He's my district leader)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Donde Esta Mi Agua?

Hey everybody!

It's the best day of the week, P-day! (It's kind of weird because all of the Latino missionaries say P-day too)

This week has been pretty boring, I have to admit, I'll explain a little bit more below. HOWEVER! to explain a little bit more about the title, in Peru, hot water doesn't exist. Well, not in the same way that it does in the US. All of the water here is super cold, so to heat up the water for our showers, we have a little white bell-shaped water heater connected to our shower. 
On about Monday or Tuesday, something happened to it, I think it might've been a short circuit or something, and it hasn't been working since. Oh, and it's winter here, so taking a shower without the water heater is bitter cold. So what we've been doing recently is we heat up pans of water on our little electric stove, and we've all been showering using a bucket. So, that's been fun... ish.
So, I'll give you a brief run-through of this week. (Really brief this time because nothing happened.)

On Monday was p-day, and what we did was sit around the apartment with 4 other missionaries, and we played UNO. It was pretty boring. That night we spent in a family home evening, playing games, and eating chocolate. 

On Tuesday we had a really big event. We went to... THE HOSPITAL. We went there to check up on my hips, because they're still hurting. So, we got there, and we almost couldn't get in, because the medical system here in Peru is a little... difficult. We actually had to call our health secretary and pass our cell phone over to the receptionist to get everything worked out. So, eventually we got in, and I got to talk to the doctor, telling him my symptoms, where it was hurting, etc. So, what he did was stick a needle in my hand and pump me up with SUPER HERO STEROIDS. Well, no, not steroids, muscle relaxants, but saying steroids makes me feel more like Captain America. 
So, we were sitting there in the hospital for a few hours while I was absorbing the medicine in my blood. Afterwards, they told me that I need to take some medicine, and about five days of rest. So, yeah, it didn't help at all. I've got another appointment with a specialist in physical therapy on Wednesday this week, so we're going to go visit him this week.

The rest of the week, I was sitting around being bored in my apartment. It was super boring.

So, Next week I should have more to report. 
I love you guys!
-Elder Dañel Jacob Esmitho

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Vamos a la Playa! Oh, o, O, Ohhh!

Hey everybody!!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!! Here's to the only man other than God that to me is worthy to hold that special title! I love you Dad!

This week has been... well... interesting. I'll explain more a little later, but right now, for the sake of time, I'm going to start the run through of the week.

Monday was P-day as usual. Remember when we went to the giant Jesus statue? Yeah, we went again this week. It was almost as cool as the last time almost. So, we hiked up the mountain, took a bunch of pictures, just like the last time. 

The thing is, when we were up at the top, my old zone showed up, and three of my old companions were there. Elder Campos, Osorio, and Ortega. The three Chilenos. It was pretty weird, because it was like I had four companions that day. Anyway, after we got up there, we headed down to the beach! We went to the beach! I made a sandcastle! I touched the ocean! I wanted to swim, but I couldn't! It was the best thing ever! Oh! and a seagull pooped on my hand! That was fun!

But that's about all that happened on Monday. 

On Tuesday, we had our district meeting like normal. The thing is, later on that day, I had some pains in my hip, and I don't know why. I had to wait out the rest of that day in the apartment. It was really boring. Sadness ensued.

On Wednesday, we had divisions with our zone leaders, and it was alright, but my hip was still giving me problems so I had to wait out the day in the apartment again.

On Thursday, I tried to go out and work again, but my hip and lower back started hurting me pretty good, so we weren't able to do very much.

On Friday, the zone leaders came by again and gave the four missionaries in our apartment a little training session. It was pretty cool, and I learned a bunch. However, Friday I still wasn't feeling good enough to go walking around. 

On Saturday, it was really boring. We still spent most of the day in the apartment, but in the night, we were able to go to the church building to help out with a missionary activity that was hosted by the other ward. I guess it was better than doing nothing.

On Sunday, we went to the meeting like normal, and we got to participate in Nycol's confirmation. It was pretty alright. We were able to visit a couple of families, but other than that, I couldn't walk around very well.

So, in short, I messed my hip up pretty bad. Tomorrow I have an appointment to go visit with a doctor, but right now, I just want to know what's going on. Don't worry too much, I'm sure it's going to be fine.

Sorry this email's a little short today, but nothing really happened this week because I couldn't do anything.

Well, that's all this week. I love you guys!
-Elder Dañel Jacob Smitho

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Baptismo! Y No Puedo Resperar . . .

Hey everybody!

So the biggest news this week is that we had another baptism! Nycol Fuentes got baptized on June 8th. I let my companion baptize her, because it's his first baptism. It's also the tradition here in the mission to let the newbies do their first baptism. I'm so proud. 

I regret that I took a lot of pictures at the baptism, but I don't have them with me. But why, Elder Smith? Because My memory got a virus. Don't worry, I was able to save all of my picture, minus the ones from the baptism. Sad, right? I know. I was going to send like, fifty pictures. oh well... I know my companion has a bunch, so I'll just steal from him.

First, I want to send a virtual fist bump to Nate Hopkins, who is now called to the San José, California mission! Do you have to learn Spanish? Where is it in California? Tell me more!!
I feel like everybody's getting called now. I've gotten like three hundred emails telling me about people's mission calls. It's pretty much amazing.

So, here's the brief run-down of this week.

On Monday, it was p-day, and really, we spent the whole day walking around from place to place because my companion was looking for a speaker to listen to his music, and he's really picky. There really isn't a whole lot to report for Monday. It was pretty boring.

Another even that happened early this week is that we had an earthquake down here. On Wednesday, I was on divisions with the companion of my district leader, and we were out proselyting, searching for a referral, and we had stopped to contact someone. When we were taking his info, we felt a little shaking, like the kind when a big truck is passing by. The shaking was only for a couple seconds, but then the ground shook harder, and I knew that it was an earthquake. It was a whole 5 seconds long. Epic, right?
The funniest part was that immediately after the shaking, everyone left their houses and started asking forgiveness from God. They only remember God when there's a natural disaster, or when they need something. After about a minute, everyone went back inside and started to continue on with their lives.

I was joking with my companion that they should add a seccion to the mission manual. Natural Disasters: Natural disasters are an excellent opportunity to find new investigators. Use these times to contact, teach lessons, and offer service.

On Friday, we had an opportunity to go and do a service project for a man that lives close to us. He was preparing his restaurant to open, and needed a little help with some things. I helped paint the walls in a room infested with spiders, and drilled into a concrete wall to put up a sign. It was fun. The man offered us money, but of course we declined. Instead he offered us a free meal when his restaurant finally opens. That, I can do.

So, the last thing that really happened this week is that we had the baptism for Nycol on Sunday. It was a little frantic, because we had to go all the way to the stake center before the service, because we didn't have the clothes, so when we got to the church, we were pretty tired. Other than that, the service went perfectly. My companion said that the water was really cold.

Well, that's all I have time to write this week, but everything right now is going just swimmingly. Until next week,

-Elder Dañel Jacob Esmitho

Monday, June 2, 2014

Por fin, esta haciendo frio! ...Y estoy enfermo otra vez.

Direct translation of the title: For End, is making cold! ...And am sick other time.  Spanish is weird. But what's even weirder is that I understand this nonsense above.

Hey Everybody!

So, as stated in the title, (if you could understand the Spanish syntax), it's finally started to get a bit colder down here! Brace yourselves, winter's coming. The only thing is that the cold down here is awful. It's super humid, so no matter what, you're sweating. But I still have to wear my jacket, because it's too cold to go without. And because it's so humid, I've gotten sick. Twice. Climate change sucks.  But don't worry too much about that, because right now I'm not sick. (Yay)

So, I want to answer some questions that I received this last week. First of, with my English classes, I've had to put them on pause for a little time, because I have to worry more about training my new companion. So, right now I'm not teaching. However, I'm going to start it up again soon.

Segundo, mi español esta progresando rápidamente, gracias. Yes, I'm fluent now. I've seen that a lot of the time it's even easier for me too speak in Spanish that in English. I've actually started to forget how to English.

Oh, and here's me, my companion, and my pensionista.

So right now I'm going to give you all a brief run-through of everything that's been going on this week.

Monday was p-day, and I was so relieved. (Adam, that was for you.)  It was companionship p-day, and what I wanted to do was stay in our apartment and sleep. My companion Elder Macias wanted to go shop for clothes.  My companion constantly complains, so, we went to shop for clothes. I felt so exhausted all the rest of that day. That wasn't very fun, and pretty frustrating. I didn't even buy anything because I don't have money. Oh well, he's new, he's still got to learn a lot of patience.

I also had a pretty cool experience on Monday. We went to teach the family of Nycol (Yes, it's pronounced the same as Nicole), and after teaching, just about finishing the lesson, Nycol's Mom said something really interesting. She said that usually in lessons like this, she has a bit of trouble paying attention. but she said that when I taught, there was something different. She could pay perfect attention, understand perfectly, but the part that struck me most was that she said that when she looked at my face, it seemed like it was someone else. This experience has made me think. Missionaries really aren't the teachers, it's the spirit, and the spirit uses us as the tools to help the people. So, that was something else.

Tuesday, we had our district meeting as usual. The only thing that was different, is that we have to practice a little sketch for our multi-zone conference that we're going to have in a couple of weeks. The thing is, this little "play" is entirely in English (To help the Latinos learn English). So, guess who has been directing it. Yep, I have to direct this little sketch for two reasons. 1 Because I'm an actor. 2 Because I'm the only one in my Zone who speaks English as my first language. So, it's been going pretty well, we'll see how it goes.

On Thursday, we passed by a little house complex where this was written on the wall. I felt so special.

It says, Blessed be him who comes in the name of the Lord. And yes, it was cold enough to need a scarf.

Okay, another story. On Saturday, I completed 10 months! WOOO. It was also the birthday of my district leader, so we celebrated with cake.

It's so delicious and moist. This is just about the most delicious cake I've had down here in Peru. It was my District leader's birthday this week, so of course we had to celebrate.

The thing is, Saturday was also the birthday of our landlord, and the way that the Peruvians party is... well... Different.  Our apartment is on the third floor, and the landlord lives on the first floor. We didn't go to the party, but we felt like we did, because they were playing their music on full blast, we could smell the cigarette smoke really strongly, and we could hear them partying and drinking ALL NIGHT. We couldn't sleep because of all the noise, so we played UNO until it stopped. (Thanks Mom) I found out that I'm really good at UNO. The four of us played six games, and I won four of them. When the music and partying finally stopped, and we could finally go to sleep, it was four in the morning. FOUR IN THE MORNING. I wanted to strangle something. I got about two hours of sleep that night.

Okay, that's all I have time to write this week. I'm anxiously awaiting to hear where Nate gets called, so let me know as soon as you have the news!

I love you guys! Until next week,
-Elder Dañel Jacob Esmitho

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mi Hijo!

Hey everybody!

Well, the biggest news for this week, is that we finally had transfers! I'm still in the same area, but... drumroll... I'm training! My new companion is a greenie, straight out of the MTC. His name is Elder Macias, he's from Mexico, he's twenty years old. He's a little bit of a clean freak, but that's okay.
Me and Elder Macias
So I'm going to answer a few things first. No, when I got flung onto the table I did not get injured. It was fun.
Second, The reason that I don't have a whole lot of time to write, is that before I do anything else, I have to write to the mission president and that usually takes anywhere from half an hour to forty five minutes.

Oh, and yes we still have a pensionista, she lives about 5 minutes from our apartment. 

So, the major things that happened this week.

On Tuesday, I had to get up super early and go to La Molina for transfers we got there at about 6:30 in the morning, and we had a reunion for all the trainers and trainees. That reunion went until about 4 in the afternoon. It was super long and pretty boring. But that's where I met my new companion Elder Macias. The rest of that day, we spent putting away his stuff in our apartment, and we went to a few appointments we had that night.

The following days we spent exploring the area, meeting the members, and working, so, there's not much to report there.
Really the biggest thing going on for me right now is that we have an investigator we're teaching that has her baptism date set for June 7th. Her Name is Nycol Fuentes. She's 18, laughs a lot, and really likes to make fun of my companions. We've been teaching her for a little while, and we finally got her to a point where she feels ready to get baptized. So that's pretty exciting. She's going to be the first baptism this area has had since January. That's because our ward here is really, really terrible. It's okay, we're working on ways we can fix the problem from the inside, but it's a lot of work for us.

So, the other big thing that happened this week is that a couple days ago I got sick. Really sick. With fever, dizziness, complete body pain, the works. It started Friday in the night, and went for almost all of Saturday too. The interesting thing is, it should have lasted for a lot longer. When I woke up Saturday morning, I could barely move, but I asked the other Elders that live in our apartment to give me a blessing. It was pretty miraculous, because that same night, (Saturday) I felt well enough again that I could go out and proselyte again. The priesthood is the best, right?
I've included two pictures of the other Elders that live in our apartment. The Elder at my side is my companion.

So, give my congratulations to Nate Hopkins! It's so exciting to hear that his call is coming this week! Be sure to let me know where he's going, and give him all of the encouragement that you can!

That's all for now folks, I gotta be running along now. 
Until next week,
-Elder Dañel Jacob Esmitho